A marvelous and very rare Victorian patchbox, the body carved from a single piece of ivory and the cut crystal lid enclosing a cameo incrustation (“sulphide”) depicting a pansy. A ribbon tied around the flower’s stem reads “a moi”. This is a clever play on words. The French word for pansy is “pensé”, which is very nearly the same word used to mean “thought”. So, when combined with the words on the ribbon, the sulphide expresses the sentiment “Thoughts of me”. This is one of the most interesting pieces we’ve seen using the sentimental Victorian language of flowers. The gilt silver fittings are stamped with Portuguese hallmarks, but the sulphide lid is most definitely French—almost certainly by Baccarat.
Origin: France and Portugal, ca. 1890. Condition: excellent, a very small line in the ivory at the side, superb patina. Size: 2-1/4” diameter.
PLEASE NOTE: This item cannot be shipped outside the United States.